Friday, December 19, 2014

2014 Pullen Park Holiday Express

I'm a big fan of large Christmas light displays. I get that from my Dad. Grant does too, he can't get enough Christmas lights! So he always has fun at the Pullen Park holiday thing. I almost skipped the tickets this year because no Saturday times were available when I decided to reserve tickets but it's such a fun family thing that I decided a Sunday was just fine :)

Usually you just reserve your stuff and show up. This year you had to pick a specific "boarding time" for your train ride. Fantastic idea because it was SO much better organized this year (and less crowded). I didn't pick up our stuff ahead of time this year, I had so much going on that I just decided to get it when we got there. Except we almost didn't make it. Husband's family had a get-together that day and it ran long. Our train time was 5:45, I looked at the time as the lady was handing me my envelope it was 5:30 - whew! So we headed there immediately. But after the ride we just wandered around the park enjoying everything before heading home.

So happy and excited!
Waving to the passengers on the later train ride!
They had a sledding station set up that I was so excited about! I knew Grant would love it and I figured we'd ride together. Nope. He told me at the top that he wanted to ride alone and since I was stuck up there without a sled...no sledding for Mama. But he had a blast. We met him at the bottom and he said "That. Was. AWESOME!" I think the sledding was his favorite, even more than the train.


They had a little station set up where you make "Reindeer Food" to sprinkle in your yard on Christmas Eve. I thought that was so cute!

Making his reindeer food.
We walked around a bit checking out the lights before hitting the carousel (which is the fastest carousel I've ever been on - I can't believe no one was thrown off!)




Going so fast!
Since it was Sunday night (and Grant had missed almost the whole previous week being sick), we didn't stay a long time. But it's kind of become a tradition for us so I'm glad we got to go. On the way out we stopped so Grant could play in the snow machine they had going at the entrance/exit.



It definitely got me feeling a little more festive and it was a great way to end our weekend!

Friday, November 14, 2014

High Five for Friday

Today I'm linking up Jennie to share some of my favorite stuff from the past week.

1) Friday was my birthday and I woke up to a hilarious card from Grant that he picked out himself. Husband told me he was very excited about the unicorn and after I read it (and was laughing myself silly) he told me "Yeah...watch out for the unicorns". And then after work, I was surprised with some flowers, a new Hurricanes tshirt I wanted, and my annually requested DQ ice cream cake! Happy Birthday to me :)
Best. Card. Ever.
Birthday things!
2) I was feeling crafty and made a bracelet. It's for my sis but who knows if she'll actually wear it. I'm mostly just excited that I tried something and it worked out without me having to throw things or make up swear words.

3) Sunday was a rather productive day for me! I got a crap load of laundry done, stocked my freezer with breakfast sandwiches for the week, and even made some yummy cinnamon glazed scones to enjoy with my cofee on Monday (scone recipe HERE). 

Looking at this makes me sad that they're all gone :(
4) Tuesday I spent the day with Grant for our Grant & Mama Day! We had such a fun day together and it was nice to take a day and just make it all about us since sometimes the weekends feel like a time I need to get things done. It was great to have a day just for fun!




5) Last night I was supposed to cook and I just didn't want to. So we went out and Grant got to pick. He picked Golden Corral...because they have ice cream. It's not at the top of Husband's favorite places but I don't mind it every once in a while. Grant will usually pretty well there and...well, I just love his chocolate covered dessert face :)

Happy Friday everyone!
Have a great weekend!
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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Grant & Mama Day #2

Earlier this year I took a random day off to have Grant & Mama Day. We went to Durham and had a great day together. At some point in the last month or so I got thinking that we needed another one of those days and I decided on Veteran's Day since I would be off anyway. This time we just stayed around Raleigh.

We started our day downtown at the Museum of Natural Sciences. Grant loves that museum but goes nuts for the dinosaur bones. And in their Nature Research Center, there is an aquarium that, among other fish, has a "hammerhead shark". I can't remember the actual name of the shark and it does look similar to a hammerhead but it's not. However, you try convincing a 4 year old that it's not. 

Checking out some fishes
More fishes
And the whale bones
He really liked that big turtle!

Dinosaur bones!
It wasn't crowded at all yesterday, great
day to visit!
Me & my guy :)
The plan was to hit the History Museum after the Science Museum because they have a couple race cars that Grant really wanted to see. But they were closed (note to self: check on these things before you show up). But it was pretty much lunch time and the boy who ate a huge ham & cheese omelet for breakfast was hungry already so we went to Panera for lunch.
Hulk Smash lunch date!
Such a perfect day to sit outside.
And in a moment of selfishness, I decided we should quickly stop at Old Navy after lunch because I knew they were having a sale. It was a productive stop and Grant had a blast trying on hats.
Somehow he's become a Star Wars fan and he
thought this hat was so fun (but, no, he didn't get it!)
After that, it was on to Pullen Park for some outdoor fun. We don't go to this park often so I knew it would be a fun little treat for Grant. It's a really pretty park and they've got a nice playground area, kiddie boats, a carousel, paddle boats, and a TRAIN. We rode the train as soon as we got there, with Grant telling me the whole time "This is really fun!". He expelled some energy on the playground, rode the kiddie boats, and then we wandered around the park for a bit before riding the train one more time and heading out.



Not having had a nap at all at this point, Grant was very tired and he got a little whiney when we left the park. He asked him if Grant & Mama Day was over (we were heading home because I had to get dinner started). I told him it wasn't but that we had to get going. He just about started to cry when he told me "I don't want Grant & Mama Day to be over!" We had one more stop to make, a quick stop at Target (is it ever a quick stop there??) so I told him to take a little nap. But he wasn't tired!
Right. I've heard that one before!
There's a Chick-Fil-A right next to Target and it was still relatively early in the afternoon. Since I had to wake him up anyway, I stopped at Chick-Fil-A and surprised Grant with some ice cream. Then Target. Where we got what we needed, and what we didn't need, and had a blast trying on their silly Christmas stuff.
He was still so tired that he was going into fits
of giggles over these funny glasses!
By the time we got home, I don't know which one of us was more tired (though only one of us would admit it) but we had such a great day together!

Friday, November 7, 2014

High Five for Friday

Today I'm linking up Jennie to share some of my favorite stuff from the past week.

1) Actually this was last Thursday, not last Friday but since I was off on Halloween I baked a fun treat to share at the office. I think this is the third year in a row that I've made this cake, so this year I added green to it. It's always such a hit and no one seems bored with it yet :)
Fun on the outside...
...and on the inside!
2) Friday was Halloween! I took the day off and tried to make this year special for Grant with some good trick-or-treating and fun dinner too. (You can read more about the day HERE)
Ready to trick-or-treat at a local park!
With the spooky scarecrow at one of our neighbor's houses!
(He loved these decorations!)
3) Saturday we went to Chuck E. Cheese (a first for me and Grant) to celebrate the birthday of one of Grant's school friends. Grant's BFF was there and two of them were stuck together like glue. Its so fun to watch them play together!


4) At some point last weekend (Sunday?) I got out for a run. I wasn't really feeling it but I still managed 3 miles. Sometimes I consider it an accomplishment to just make it home without having to call for a ride.

5) I got to make two birthday cakes this week! My friend & co-worker Janis got a fun little chocolate peanut butter cake for one that I've been wanting try. And Husband requested a Red Sox cake for his friend & co-worker Barry who turned 50 this week. I was really excited about how they both turned out (though as a Yankees fan, that Red Sox cake hurt my soul!)!
Fun little cake for Janis!
Red Sox cake for Barry!
Happy Friday everyone!
Have a great weekend!
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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Halloween 2014

This year I was determined to not let Halloween sneak up on me. This year I said "Who cares about the Fair, I'm going to do fun Halloween baking!" This year I was going to decorate early and carve a pumpkin and all that.

And it snuck up on me anyway. And I did very little fun Halloween baking. I did decorate but it was very little and it was the day of Halloween. But Grant was just so excited about Halloween this year that I couldn't help but be excited too. I wanted to make it a great Halloween for him this year. So I took the day off (I needed one anyway!) but Grant went to school most of the day for his class Halloween party and they trick-or-treat around the classrooms. I spent the day running a couple errands and then getting a "spooky dinner" ready for that evening (and cleaning because I invited my in-laws to come).

Grant has never been trick-or-treating with a lot of other kids. Our neighborhood doesn't have many small kids and very few houses participate on Halloween so usually it's just us walking around the neighborhood. This year I wanted to take him to a local event at a park called Trick-or-Treat the Trails. Local businesses and what-not set up booths at the park and the kids trick-or-treat along the walking path. I picked Grant up early from school and took him straight there. SO MUCH FUN! I've wanted to go for a couple year and never make it. This year I was determined and I'm so glad. Obviously getting treats (and all kinds of other stuff) was great, but Grant had the best time looking at the other costumes and seeing all the people. 

Ready to hit the trails!

Some had their booth decorated and wore costumes. If we go
to this next year (and I plan to) I'm totally dressing up!
Grant loved that local fire departments & EMS people had
their vehicles out there!



When we got in the car he told me "That was so fun!" It made me even happier that I got to take him. We were in a bit of rush to get home because I had a few things to do for a our spooky dinner but I told Grant that I did have time to decorate a little. When we got home and he saw my decorations (very meager decorations) he gasped and said "Mama I love it! Those are awesome decorations!" It's the little things, right?


Our "spooky dinner" consisted of Witches Brooms (string cheese with pretzels), Mummy Dogs (hot dogs wrapped in crescent dough), Zombie Eyeballs (meatballs), Bat Wing Pizza (pizza with bat shapes cut out of cheese), spinach dip, chips, and some cookie bars for dessert. A little silly perhaps, but so fun to see a 4 year old's face light up when you tell him he's having Zombie Eyeballs for dinner :)



And Grant got to pass out candy to one of our three trick-or-treaters (not kidding, we have a lot of leftover candy) before heading out to trick-or-treat at the five houses that had their lights on.


Ready for more goodies!
He told us he wanted to go by himself.
This house was his favorite!
And he even got treats from Gramma & Grandpa when we got back!



We finished off the night with some Pumpkin Floats (orange soda - caffeine free! - with vanilla ice cream).


I know this year was the best time Grant has had trick-or-treating and he loved being Optimus Prime. It was a pretty great Halloween!
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